Controversy in Australia: an indigenous senator had to repeat the oath after calling Queen Elizabeth II a “colonizer”

The senator of the Greens of Australia for Victoria, Lidia Thorpe (EFE) (LUKAS COCH /)

Australian Indigenous Senator Lydia Thorpe had to repeat your oath of office as a congressman because he referred to the queen Isabel IIwho is formally Australia’s head of state, as “colonizer”.

The environmentalist senator did not attend the official inauguration last week, so she took office alone on Monday morning. She went to the podium with her fist raised and recited the phrase: “I, Lidia Thorpe, as Sovereign, do solemnly and sincerely swear that I will be faithful and render true allegiance to Her Colonizing Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II.”

“You won’t be a senator until you get it right!”one of the senators told him after Thorpe was sworn in, who was warned by the president of the Senate to repeat the takeover formula.

The President of the Senate, Labor Sue Linesintervened to head off angry criticism from other senators. “You have to recite the oath that appears on the card. Please recite it”He snapped.

Thorpe then confronted another Labor senator over his criticism, though he eventually read the sentence as written. “None of us like it”expressed another parliamentarian after the oath.

His conduct, meanwhile, received the support of the leader of the Greens, adam bandtwho posted a message on his social networks: “Always it was. It will always be”.

Lydia Thorpe Australia
Senator Thorpe is part of a family succession of women who have made a career in indigenous activism (EFE) (LUKAS COCH /)

Later, Thorpe herself, originally from the ethnic group DjabWurrung Gunnai Gunditjmara, posted on his Twitter account that “I have never relinquished sovereignty.” Thorpe recently criticized the Australian flag because it “represents the colonization of these lands.” “There is no consent or a treaty, so that flag does not represent me”he maintained in statements to the chain Channel 10.

His intention is to go to Parliament to “question the illegitimate occupation of the colonial system in this country”. “I am here for my people and I will sacrifice myself by swearing allegiance to the colonizer to be able to be in the media as I am right now, to enter Parliament as I am,” he warned.

Australia was a British colony for over 100 yearsa period in which thousands of Aboriginal Australians were killed and communities were displaced. Finally, the country obtained de facto independence in 1901but it never became a full-fledged republic.

In 1999Australians voted narrowly against of the queen’s impeachment, amid a dispute over whether her replacement would be chosen by members of Parliament rather than the public.

Polls show that the majority of Australians are in favor of being a republic, but there is little agreement on how the head of state should be chosen.

As reported Daily Mail, Senator Thorpe is part of a family line of women who have made careers in Aboriginal activism: Her grandmother Alma Thorpe created the Victorian Aboriginal Health Service, while her mother Marjorie Thorpe was part of the national investigation into what became known as the Stolen Generations.

queen elizabeth gallery
Queen Elizabeth II is formally Australia’s head of state (Getty Images)

In his appearance on the show The Project on Channel 10, the senator said she was also removing the Australian national flag during news conferences, after Greens leader Adam Bandt was criticized for the same move.

“The Australian flag does not represent me or my people”he said at the panel. And he added: “It represents the colonization of these lands, and he does not have permission to be here, there has been no consent, there has been no treaty, so that flag does not represent me.”

Asked by his journalist if his argument could also be applied to the Australian Parliament, in which he works, Thorpe answered emphatically: “Absolutely, I’m here to infiltrate. I signed up to be a senator on the colonial bill, and it wasn’t an easy decision for me personally, and it wasn’t an easy decision for my family to support me in this either.”

“However, we need voices like this to challenge the illegitimate occupation of the colonial system in this country,” he added.

(With information from Europa Press and Daily Mail)

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